The media is prone to exageration when it comes to monikers given to players. Some young pup who works at the team store is called, “a star player in the making”. A curly headed player who has been in the game for just over 12 months is nicknamed, “Mr Football”.
There is one player who scarcely rated a mention in the dispatches of most media outlets, and deliberately kept away from any attention. His preferred hair colour is brown, and most of the players on his team were a little startled when they heard him speak, a little bit like a dog that you didn’t think could bark, and suddenly it growls at you.
However he played 238 games for the one club, defeated players twice his size, and was rarely disgraced, in a side that was often beaten. His preferred position was full back, but towards the end of his career he played on various opponents in the back line. In an team with more options, Parker would have been a small defender. His task would have been to chase after forwards or even mid-sized attackers in the opposition; to run the ball out of defence and get it to those who kick goals from time to time. But Fremantle did not have that luxury, and Shane was up against the best forwards for most of his career. He was a great defender, but part of Freo folklore is the frustration fans felt when Shane was given the kicking out duties, something which it has to be said was at best, frustrating to watch.
For his entire career he only kicked 11 goals, but the tenth one was a beauty. It came in round 16, 2005 when his opponent was Brendan Fevola, a player the media like to dub a ‘star player’. Fremantle were playing Carlton at the MCG on a sunny day. Brendad was playing full forward and Shane Parker full back You would expect the full forward to outscore the fullback, right? Well not in the nexus that is Fremantle. On this day, when Fremantle defeated the Blues by 35 points, Fremantle’s full back outscored his much fancied opponent, all because of one beautiful running goal, when everything came together for the man those who admired him dubbed, “The Twig of Integrity”.